Australia will square off against South Africa for the Boxing Day Test at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) from December 26 onwards. For the same, Aussie skipper Pat Cummins has named his starting XI.
Local star Scott Boland has retained his place in the team with an ‘underdone’ Josh Hazlewood set to miss another Test match as he continues to recover from a side strain.
“We gave Joshy (Hazlewood) every chance, (but) it just got to a stage where (he) more than anyone else felt like he was a little bit underdone,” Cummins told reporters on Christmas morning.
“It’s a mark of the man really, he himself said ‘don’t feel quite right’ so he kind of pulled himself out of selection.
“We talk a lot about how (as) a team we need a squad mentality and I think it’s another great example.”
Australia are currently at the number one position in the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) rankings, but they would want to extend their lead before heading to India for the four-match series. After registering a clean sweep over Bangladesh (2-0), India have now moved put to the second spot.
Meanwhile, Dean Elgar’s South Africa will look to bounce back after losing the Brisbane Test in less than two days.
Australia’s playing XI for the second Test against South Africa:
David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland.
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